Funday Friday Holiday Humor

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Now this image is just dog-gone funny.  Nothing like a little pet humor for Funday Friday.

Greyhound Humor

 

The ability to laugh is good for a person. If you would like help to start finding joy in life again, please give CornerStone Family Services a call at 614-459-3003.

Be Willing to Have the Tough Conversations

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Be Willing to Have the Tough Conversations

By Marriage365

Marriage requires courage. It also will require that you have the tough conversations. You know, the ones no one wants to have but must in order to resolve issues and move forward in the relationship. Do not avoid conflict! Do not avoid talking about the big issues you’re struggling with.

Tough conversations

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If you are struggling with those necessary tough conversations in your relationship, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003.  One of our counselors or coaches would be pleased to come alongside of you or you and your spouse to work though having those constructive tough conversations that make a relationship deeper and stronger.

Bad Times, Good Theology

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True story typed on a vintage typewriter

Bad Times, Good Theology

By John Myer

This has been a big year for me and my family.  Some of it has been good, like various graduations and an exciting church re-launch.  More recently, some of it has been disappointing—at least enough to affect the trajectory of our future.

Disappointment seems built in to the fabric of our world.

I don’t want to sound like a pessimist here because I don’t think that attitude is consistent with the gospel message.  But then again, neither is naïve optimism with its denial of common sense.

Instead, the gospel calls us to become realists, summoning us into the reality that belongs to God.  Jesus said “The hour is coming and now is when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth [reality]” (John 4:24).   John continues to write, “I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in truth [reality]” (2 John 4).

And here is a basic part of divine reality:  Sometimes God’s providence turns into an impenetrable barrier between us and the future we thought we would travel.  No amount of naming or claiming or bargaining can change it.  Neither does God explain why.

Our options are few—either go high or deep, stay in the same place, or go backward.  But putting on a helmet and battering our way through won’t work.

We’ve had to deal with that reality for the last week, and work on some basic acceptance issues.

During peace time, theology only seems to belong in a seminary.  We can get by without all the big talk and spiritual words.  But it’s amazing how suffering turns everybody into a theologian.  We want to know what God wants.  Why did He let (or make) this happen?  What will He do?

It’s as though theology were a giant umbrella planted in the middle of a patio.  While the weather is perfect and dry and the sun not too hot, the umbrella appears unnecessary, even obnoxious.  But let the clouds gather and pour torrents of rain.  Or let the sun burn with a certain fury. We’ll huddle underneath that same formally obnoxious umbrella with gratitude.

During stormy moments, our attraction to theology won’t be one of detached intellectual interest, but of passionate seeking.  The doctrinal words and concepts stop being mere preacher-speak.  They describe God’s reality in the most immediate terms.

In times of disappointment, it’s tempting to succumb to substitutes.  Possibly the worst one is a form of pop theology I call “Me-ology.”  Since it uses verses that have been cherry-picked from scripture, it vaguely looks like theology.  But it’s not.  Closer inspection will demonstrate that rather than being God centered (theos), it’s me-centered.

Here’s what it does:

  1. It smooths over troubling circumstances without leading you to engage the pain, to seek deeply, or, if necessary, to repent.
  2. It aligns you on what you want, offering little or no wisdom to temper reckless desires.
  3. It promises you will get what you want with no regard for whether God has actually promised it to begin with.
  4. It encourages trust in your own positive vibes, affirmative words, or faith energy, rather than God Himself.
  5. It promotes little or no interest in what God wants unless “what God wants” is to bless you with everything you want. In other words, it establishes you in your own self-centered bearing.

Alternately, good theology does this:

  1. It tells the truth up front even if it hurts, because true healing lies down the road— like the painful setting of a broken leg right now leads to healing later.
  2. It aligns you on what God wants, which is where all blessing ultimately rests.
  3. It prepares you for suffering, empowering you to go through anything for Christ’s sake.
  4. It encourages trust in God rather than your constant efforts to fix, grab, or manipulate.
  5. It emphasizes character formation rather than quick deliverance.
  6. It advises getting what you want in God’s way and in God’s time.
  7. It avoids the never-ending anxiety of what-if and deals with what is.
  8. It ultimately describes God getting what He wants.

We can’t control the weather, but we can make sure we have the best umbrella in town.

How to Quit Slapping Your Spiritual Snooze Button

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nap

How to Quit Slapping Your Spiritual Snooze Button

By Wayne Stiles

I never trust myself with a snooze button. It’s too easy to tell myself, “Just 5 more minutes,” about 7 more times. Plus, snoozing never helps! I feel just as tired after snoozing as I did beforehand. I gain nothing. I’ve only lost time.

The problem of “mind over mattress” is one we all face, and we all deal with it in different ways.

  • Some people set the alarm earlier to allow for the snooze.
  • Others put the clock out of reach so they have to get up to turn off the alarm.
  • Others tell themselves, Tomorrow I’ll begin to get up on time; but not today.

Spiritually speaking, we’re often called to “wake up” and get moving.

The problem? We’re tempted to slap the snooze button.

But when we do, we never gain anything.

We only lose precious time.

Check the Clock

When we wake up in the middle of the night and see the time on the clock, we smile and roll back over into Never-Never Land. It’s not time yet to get up.

But when we snap awake with only five minutes before the alarm, our minds prepare to rise and face the day.

Being aware of the time lets us know when to get up.

The Scriptures serve as our spiritual alarm clock:

Knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand.” —Romans 13:11-12

“Night” and “day” represent the present time and a coming hour.

In other words, because the return of Christ could be at any moment—since the ultimate salvation for Christians is any day now—it’s time to quit snoozing.

Spiritually, it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee.

Don’t Go to Work in Your Pajamas

Most of us know what to wear and where to wear it.

  • We don’t go to work in our pajamas.
  • We don’t take showers in our suits or dresses.
  • We don’t sleep in blue jeans.

We know what to wear at night and what to wear during the day.

They’re not the same.

How to Quit Slapping Your Spiritual Snooze Button

Spiritually, we’re told to apply the same logic.

The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. . . . But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts. —Romans 13:12, 14

1. Get Ready for the Day.

Do you recognize your spiritual snooze buttons? To “make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts” means don’t put yourself in a position that will ignite an urge to sin.

  • Don’t hang around certain people if they influence you to compromise (1 Corinthians 15:33).
  • Don’t watch a certain movie or visit a certain Web site if it’s going to tempt you to sin (Proverbs 7:7-27).
  • Don’t go to the mall if you will needlessly buy something (Proverbs 30:15-16).

Where are you hitting the snooze button in your spiritual life? We’re all tempted to do it.

  • We see a problem with money or our marriage and we’ll say: “Just give me five more minutes, God.”
  • Or if a habitual weakness with lust is recognized, it’s tempting to slap the old spiritual snooze button and put it off.  “Lord, I need just five more minutes . . . months . . . years, and then I’ll walk with Christ.”

2. Put on Your Day Clothes.

Because Jesus could return at any moment for us, we need dress ourselves with deeds that Christ would do.

Do you hear it? The alarm is ringing.

It’s time to wake up and get dressed. You need not choose to snooze.

The Destructive Nature of Heart Idols

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Idol Skull

Many times the things in our life that cause the most angst, anxiety, depression, and pain are good things that have grown into “god” things in our hearts.  When good things like success and happiness grow to the point of importance in our lives that we can’t imagine life without them, failure and sadness become devastating.

If you have found yourself controlled by your emotions and desires for good things to the point that anger, anxiety, depression, or damaged relationships are happening please seek out help.  Contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to set up an appointment with a counselor or coach who will come alongside of you as you learn to be set free from the destructive idols of your heart.

Funday Friday: Sports Humor

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Sports Humor

Humor and laughter is good for the heart.  For help in bringing more joy into your life, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a counselor or coach.

Are You the “Easy Mom?” How to Build Boundaries with Teens

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Are You the “Easy Mom?” How to Build Boundaries with Teens

By Dr. John Townsend

I (Dr. Townsend) remember overhearing my kids and their friends making plans to go to a movie. It was one of those last-minute decisions that teens often make. None of them were of driving age yet, so they were trying to solve that first obstacle.

boundaries teenOne boy, Ted, said, “How are we going to get there? The movie starts in fifteen minutes.” His friend said, “Call your mom; she’s easy.”

It was true. Ted’s mom, Andrea, is easy. She is a loving and easygoing person who also lets herself be taken advantage of by her teens. I have seen her interrupt plans that she has had in place for weeks in order to take her kids somewhere they decided to go at the last minute.

When I told Andrea that she was known as the “easy mom,” she realized that her kids needed to learn to plan ahead. Now when they ask her to do something for them at the last minute, she tells them, “Sorry, I wish you had told me earlier, but I’m doing something else. Good luck.”

Andrea does more than talk the talk; she walks the walk. She models the boundaries with teens that they need to develop, and she helps them experience the limits they need to face.

Andrea understands the bottom line of good parenting: teens will develop self-control and responsibility to the extent that their parents have healthy boundaries. When it comes to good parenting, who you are is more important than what you say.

All parents have at one time or another warned and threatened their teens with some consequence, only to let it go when they didn’t respond. But kids learn more from what they experience than from what they hear.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t teach and talk about boundaries with teens and house rules. They are very important. But those rules will hold little meaning unless you stand behind them and make them real. Your teen needs to internalize your boundaries. That is, she needs to make them part of her own internal world. She will learn a powerful lesson when she loses something she loves because of a choice she has made. The more teens experience the negative consequences of their poor choices, the more internal structure and self-control they will develop.

Every time your teen experiences your external structure, you are providing something for your teen that she cannot provide for herself. Each time you go through this process, she becomes a little more aware, a little less impulsive, a little more responsible, and a little more mindful that she will control what her future looks like.

 

10 Ways to Say “No”

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Some people have difficulty saying, “No.”  There may be a number of reasons, but the felt inability to say “no” will be boundary issue that will cause the person pain in the long run.

Other people could use more tact when saying, “No.”

Here are ten healthy ways to establish healthy boundaries when saying, “No.”

10 Ways to Say No

For more help with boundaries, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to set up an appointment with one of our counselors or coaches.

True Feelings Don’t Equate With Truth

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true-feelings

Our feelings are real. But true feelings do not necessarily equate with truth.

Sometimes we reason and think emotionally, but feelings are not facts.

While our feelings may be legitimate, we must learn to test our feelings with objective facts. In doing so, we will find ourselves mastering our feelings rather than being mastered by our feelings.

If you would like more help not being governed by your feelings, please call CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to set up an appointment with a counselor or coach.

Don’t Enter the “What-If” Room

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what-if-room

The “what-if” room is full of anxiety and pain. It is a room filled with uncertainty and things that are out of your control.  The longer you stay in the room, the weaker and less powerful you become as your anxiety increases and increases and increases.

The best thing you can do is to turn away from the what-if room. Do not entertain it’s buzzing, flickering neon light.

If you do find yourself in the room, tell yourself, “Stop!” Then refocus on something tangible. Then begin to breathe slowly.  As your mind and body slows you will find yourself exiting the what-if room and leaving its anxiety behind you.

For more help with dealing with the “what-ifs” and other anxious thoughts, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to set up an appointment with a counselor or coach.